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Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were visiting DC from Wisconsin when lightning struck them near a tree along with two others, according to The Washington Post.
Two elderly men hospitalized Thursday after being seriously injured by lightning while sightseeing in Lafayette Square near the White House have died.
Officers from the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police went to help the victims immediately, according to VIto Maggiolo, a D.C. spokesman. Fire and EMS.
Maggiolo said the four people caught up in the incident were likely trying to seek shelter under the nearby tree as the storm passed just before 7 p.m.
The Fire and EMS spokesman pointed out that trees are not the ideal shelter during thunderstorms.
“Trees are not safe places,” said Maggiolo. “Anyone who goes to seek shelter under a tree, that’s a very dangerous place to be.”
Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park directly north of the White House, is often packed with visitors, especially in the summer months.
A violent storm swept through the capital late in the day.
The National Weather Service issued a severe storm warning for the area between 6:30 p.m. m. and 7:15 p.m. m., warning of wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
Temperatures in Washington topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, though, with the high humidity, the heat felt like more than 100F, forecasters said.
This is a developing story.
- Donna Mueller, 75, and James Mueller, 76, were among the four injured by a lightening strike near the White House on Thursday
- The pair were visiting from Wisconsin when they were injured before 7 p.m. near a tree at a DC park
- The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning on Thursday for Washington D.C. between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m